Arcep is the telecom regulator in France which revealed that the number of SIM cards in use exceeds the population in the whole of France. As on end of June, there were 66 million SIM cards in use in the country, representing a 101.6% population penetration level while the annual growth reflected 6% over the past four quarters.
The number of flat rate accounts that include M2M and internet access cards sustained a rise of +7.2% over the previous years. The growth rate was a tad slower though, in view of the previous quarters that produced 8% to 9% growth over the last five quarters. On the other hand, the last six months has seen a 4.1% growth rate in prepaid cards as compared to Q2 2010 for the same period.
There were 5.9 million cards ending the last quarter with regard to the number of M2M (machine to machine) and 3G data only SIM cards being used, representing 8.9% of the total base, and fuelled by a rise by 260,000.
Powered by an increase of 190,000 customers, the residential market grew slightly during the quarter while the increase in the number of MVNO customers over the past three months has yet again, offset network operators’ losses.